• OSI Sustainability

OSI’s Claire Donoghue Named Board Chair of the European Roundtable for Beef Sustainability

August 13, 2020

OSI Europe’s Operations Director and Head of Sustainability, Claire Donoghue, has been named Board Chair of the largest multi-stakeholder group for beef sustainability in Europe.

The European Roundtable for Beef Sustainability (ERBS) announced her election to the three-year position on July 15, 2020.

As president, Donoghue will oversee the continued development of the sustainability platform, which launched in 2018 as a regional division of the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB). Like its global counterpart, the ERBS works with stakeholders across the beef industry, from farmers to distributors, to guide improvements in a range of sustainability areas. The ERBS is focused in particular on animal health and welfare, animal medicines, farm management and greenhouse gas emissions.

“As a founding member of the ERBS and staunch supporter of sustainability roundtables, OSI is thrilled to have one of our own at the helm of a group we’ve been proud to work with,” said Nicole Johnson-Hoffman, OSI’s Director of Sustainability. "We look forward to continuing to support Claire's work, at OSI and ERBS, to advance our vision of a more sustainable beef industry."

A STRONG BEEF SUSTAINABILITY BACKGROUND

Donoghue comes to the role with extensive experience both in the beef industry and as a leader within the ERBS. Since late 2018, she has chaired its Technical Working Group, which develops strategies to recognize national and local beef sustainability programs. Rather than develop new standards, ERBS instead offers recognition to existing sustainability initiatives that commit to achieving eight sustainability targets. These ERBS targets include a 15% intensity reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and a 50% reduction in the use of certain animal medicines (those labeled “Highest Priority Critically Important Antimicrobials“ by the World Health Organization) by 2023.

Under Donoghue’s leadership, the Technical Working Group oversaw the ERBS recognition of beef sustainability initiatives in France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Poland and the U.K. These established programs are now working with ERBS to achieve the roundtable's own ambitious targets.

In her new role, Donoghue is closely tracking the progress of recognized programs and platforms toward ERBS targets. She also plans to continue to closely collaborate with the GRSB and expand the ERBS Board to new members and representatives from more European countries.

“This is an exciting time to chair the ERBS. The Technical Working Group have worked closely with beef stakeholders to create common goals," said Donoghue. "Now, we will be focusing on reporting our progress against these goals and will encourage further engagement from European stakeholders. I look forward to leading this group, while working collaboratively with our peers and subject matter experts throughout our global network.”

OSI'S OWN COMMITMENT TO SUSTAINABILITY ROUNDTABLES

Donoghue’s ambitions for her new role at the ERBS align with the work she has been doing since joining OSI in 2018. As OSI Europe’s Head of Sustainability, she has been working to ensure that the company’s various departments, facilities and suppliers are all working toward a common set of sustainability goals — many of which overlap with ERBS targets. These include addressing the industry’s biggest challenges, such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions, stewarding resources more efficiently and improving supply chain traceability.

She approaches this mission, as we all do at OSI, through deep engagement with suppliers and other partners. Since joining OSI, Donoghue has stewarded a number of projects aimed at educating farmers about best practices in everything from antibiotic use to animal welfare. Education is a key pillar of OSI's approach to sustainability. We don't simply want to make improvements within the walls of our operations — we are constantly working to encourage and inspire our suppliers and the entire food processing and agricultural industries to reduce negative impacts on the planet and the people and animals that inhabit it.

What, precisely, those negative impacts may be vary widely across regions and companies. That's why we believe it's so important to participate in and support industry roundtables like the ERBS, where stakeholders can explain the local challenges they face and work with experts to navigate the best way forward.

We've had the privilege at OSI to be founding members of — and hold leadership positions within — several multi stakeholder groups, including the GRSB and ERBS. We've benefited greatly from our participation in these groups, which help us hone in on the challenges we should prioritize and equip us with best practices we can use to tackle them.

As Donoghue has previously explained, the sheer range of opportunities for improvement in sustainability — a term that encompasses everything from water conservation to the treatment of employees — can overwhelm. Where should a farmer or factory manager begin? That's why both OSI and the ERBS have identified several specific, ambitious, but attainable sustainability targets that guide the work that we do. As Donoghue steps into her new role, we are excited to watch and support her as she shepherds even more farmers, factories and other players toward big improvements, one attainable step at a time.

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